United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Greenville Division
RUFUS JULIUS CORNELIUS ANDERSON, a/k/a Rufus Julius C. Anderson, a/k/a Rufus J. Anderson, Plaintiff,
KAREN PATTERSON; MIRANDA B. PIERCE WARE; JOHN SIMMONS; PATRICIA FULLER; and E.F. IRICK, Defendants.
ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND
GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
GEIGER LEWIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
case was filed as a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action. Plaintiff
is proceeding pro se. The matter is before the Court for
review of the Report and Recommendation (Report) of the
United States Magistrate Judge suggesting Defendants'
motions to dismiss be granted. The Report was made in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636 and Local Civil Rule
73.02 for the District of South Carolina.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976).
The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of
those portions of the Report to which specific objection is
made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole
or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or
recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1). The Court declines to conduct a de novo review,
however, “when a party makes general and conclusory
objections that do not direct the court to a specific error
in the [Magistrate Judge's] proposed findings and
recommendations.” Orpiano v. Johnson, 687 F.2d
44, 47 (4th Cir. 1982); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b).
Thus, the Court will address each specific objection to the
Report in turn. As provided above, however, the Court need
not-and will not-address any of Plaintiff's arguments
that fail to point the Court to alleged specific errors the
Magistrate Judge made in the Report.
Magistrate Judge filed the Report on September 13, 2016, and
the Clerk of Court entered Plaintiff's objections to the
Report on September 26, 2016. The Court has reviewed the
objections, but finds them to be without merit. Therefore, it
will enter judgment accordingly.
Plaintiff's objections, he largely fails to point the
Court to any alleged specific errors the Magistrate Judge
made in the Report. Rather, Plaintiff's objections
consist mainly of restatements of arguments already advanced
in prior filings, coupled with inapposite legal citations.
as Plaintiff's objection to the Report regarding the
issue of qualified immunity is dispositive of the suit, the
Court will consider it first. In this objection, Plaintiff
asserts Defendants have failed to present any evidence that
establishes their entitlement to qualified immunity. ECF No.
82 at 3. Plaintiff's objection is meritless, as he
demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the law of
immunity bars recovery against government officials
performing discretionary functions where their conduct fails
to violate clearly established constitutional rights of which
a reasonable person would have known. Harlow v.
Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800, 818 (1982). Qualified immunity
“is an immunity from suit rather than a mere
defense to liability, ” Mitchell v. Forsyth,
472 U.S. 511, 526 (1985), and protects “all but the
plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law,
” Malley v. Briggs, 475 U.S. 335, 341 (1986).
government official asserts qualified immunity, the Court
must determine (1) whether the facts alleged show the
official's actions violated a constitutional right, and
(2) whether the right asserted was clearly established at the
time of the challenged actions. Henry v. Purnell,
501 F.3d 374, 377 (4th Cir. 2007). “[T]he record must
clearly demonstrate the plaintiff has satisfied his heavy
two-part burden; otherwise, the defendants are entitled to
qualified immunity.” Medina v. Cram, 252 F.3d
1124, 1128 (10th Cir. 2001).
light of the standard set forth above, the Court holds
Plaintiff has failed to meet his heavy burden to show
Defendants are unentitled to qualified immunity. Plaintiff
incorrectly argues Defendants must show evidence to establish
qualified immunity, ECF No. 82 at 3, when in fact Plaintiff
bears the burden to demonstrate qualified immunity is
inapplicable. Moreover, the allegations raised by Plaintiff
in his Complaint utterly fail to state a cognizable claim for
any violation of his constitutional rights by Defendants,
much less that they are clearly established. Consequently,
the Court holds Defendants are entitled to qualified
immunity. As such, the Court will grant Defendants'
motions to dismiss.
that this holding is dispositive of the case, the Court need
not address the parties' remaining arguments, nor
Plaintiff's remaining objections. See Karsten v.
Kaiser Found. Health Plan of Mid-Atl. States, Inc., 36
F.3d 8, 11 (4th Cir. 1994) (“If the first reason given
is independently sufficient, then all those that follow are
surplusage; thus, the strength of the first makes all the
thorough review of the Report and the record in this case
pursuant to the standard set forth above, the Court overrules
Plaintiff's objections, adopts the Report to the extent
it does not contradict this Order, and incorporates it
herein. Therefore, it is ...